White Privilege and Mass Murders in America
There he goes again, that darn Three Sonorans playing the race card again…
I made a comment on Facebook yesterday:
Trying to shoot down MAS classes and not looking in the mirror to see what in American culture causes mass shootings…
and immediately was met with complaints that the Colorado shooting has nothing to do with race or MAS.
My point was that we focus so much on the danger of Chicanos learning their history when the real threat comes from crazy Americans with very easy access to guns, but that is besides the point for now.
Does the Colorado Dark Knight shooting have anything to do with race? For those who know about Critical Race Theory and view events and issues through that special lens, the answer is interesting either way. If it does have to do with race, then that discussion can continue.
But I want to consider the opposite; what if the shooting has nothing to do with race? This is actually where things get interesting.
Remember when that airplane crashed into that building in an attempt to kill federal employees a few years ago? A man was mad at the IRS and drove his plane into a building in Austin, Texas in 2010.
The man was white.
You might say, why does his race matter? Because when a criminal is not white, it matters to everyone.
If the man was brown-skinned we would wonder if he was sent from the Mexican drug cartels, or if he was part of some Muslim terrorist group, or if he had ties to the Black Panthers…
His race would concern everyone.
Here is an experiment. Close your eyes now and try to envision the white man that crashed his plane into the Austin building?
Do you have his face memorized? What does he look like?
Now think of “shoe-bomber.” His face was everywhere on TV.
Do you remember these pictures? Richard Reid killed no one, the only damage he caused was to his shoes, but we all know his face and we know he is a “terrorist.”
The hero of that event was actually a musician who grabbed his guitar out of his case and bravely smashed it over Richard Reid’s head, thus leading to the bruises you see on his face above.
His name was Joseph Stack.
For his heroism he was awarded medals from the President, but unfortunately many do not know his face. Do you recognize the man with the guitar in the picture above?
Actually, the part about Stack being a hero is untrue, except to those on the extreme right-wing that hate only one thing more than the first black president, and that is the IRS.
Joseph Stack was the man who crashed a plane into a building.
News reports make sure to point out that he acted alone and is not a “terrorist.”
The FBI identified the pliot as Joseph Stack, a 53-year-old software engineer. Stack was confirmed dead, but his body has not yet been recovered.
At least one person who worked in the building was unaccounted for and two people were hospitalized, thirteen others were treated and released said Austin Fire Department Division Chief Dawn Clopton.
Emergency crews found two bodies in the building late Thursday evening, but wouldn’t identify them.
Texas Republican Congressman Michael McCaul told reported the incident was, “not tied to overseas terror organizations.”
A U.S. law official said investigators were looking at a lengthy, anti-government “manifesto” Stack is believed to have written on his Web site. The message outlines problems with the IRS and says violence “is the only answer.”
Isn’t a terrorist someone who uses terror, as in fear, usually against civilians?
Note there is no mention of race in these definitions.
When GOP Congressman McCaul says above that Stack was “not tied to overseas terror organizations” what exactly does this mean, why is it even being said, especially when you consider Stack’s manifesto that says “violence is the only answer”?
According to the definition above, Stack’s use of violence to achieve a political aim, the aim here being the offices of the IRS in Austin, satisfies the requirements to be a terrorist.
But note the use of the word “overseas.” Overseas as in foreigners. But nowhere is it mentioned by the Congressman that this is clearly an act of domestic terrorism, by American citizens.
Now when it comes to events such as Columbine and the Aurora incident, since they were mass murders we know the people involved, and just as with the Tucson Tragedy, the face of the young white man is displayed on the TV 24-7 right now.
How ironic that the media always uses smiling photos of these murderers, as they did with Jared Loughner.
The similarities are there. Both were students that were failing out of school and clearly worried about it.
Were they racists?
Who knows; maybe they were or maybe they weren’t.
But that’s not the question right now.
Neither is the question why these two white men hate America. Why do they hate us? Why are they jealous of Americans?
Despite these heinous acts, other young white men are not afraid of being racially profiled now. Will people now fear white men when they get onto airplanes wearing a college T-shirt? What if they smile at them?
Then they definitely fit the profile of a domestic terrorist!
Race does not matter in this case, nor should it. The cops would waste their time and energy by racially profiling all young men in suburbia. It is best to keep race out of this.
This efficiency is called White Privilege.
You already know that if it was a Muslim that did the crime, the news would be speaking right now about the threat of “Muslim” terrorism.
This Batman shooting will never be referred to as “White” terrorism or “American” terrorism. Everyone knows that American and terrorism are exact opposites! Americans are the ones that fight terrorism, not engage in it. We never use violence against other people around the world, they have no need to fear us.
We just know that they are jealous of us because we are so rich. Not because of lives lost in their families or communities destroyed.
What if the shooter was not white? The Virginia Tech shooter was not white, and we all know thanks to the news that he was an immigrant from South Korea. They chose only the best pictures with a smiling face to let Americans know what that killer looked like.
Now just imagine if the mass shooter was a former Mexican American Studies student! You know that news would be all over that!
Joseph Stack had an anti-government manifesto… yawn…
White Christian militias in places like Michigan or cults like the Branch Davidians… these are brave patriots and their stockpiling of weaponry is an homage to the greatness of the Second Amendment.
Until they go and kill people or spread their own domestic terrorism.
But we never wonder why they hate America.
We just sit and wonder… why? Why did this happen? Surely it has nothing to do with our culture even though it is Americanism that keeps spawning these people out, and that gives them the guns to act through on their fears.
This is not a time to declare war on their kind, because they are us. They come from within.
It is also not a time to declare war on another country, or have all college students strip during airport searches. No profiling of any kind will take place.
Nor should it.
That’s the benefit of White Privilege.
And that is something many of us, including myself, do not have. Until the day I die I will always be “reasonably suspicious,” a possible drug-cartel member or illegal immigrant. I will never be waved through border patrol checkpoints which not dot Southern Arizona like those in the car in front of me.
Even the books I read and music I listen to or art I enjoy will be used against me in a court of law, as it was in the Ethnic Studies trial in Arizona.
And despite the race of the mass shooters, from Jared Loughner to James Holmes, or to other murderers outside of Tucson such as Shawna Forde and Jason Bush, white supremacist members of the Minutemen that killed Brisenia Flores and her father while also shooting her mother, the Sheriff Arpaio lovers and TEA Party will never start fearing their grandkids even though Russell Pearce and Jan Brewer have sons in jail.
Or the person that Pearce baptized, his good friend JT Ready, who was involved in a recent mass murder in Arizona…
It is the brown person that must be feared. It is Latinos getting educated in Mexican American Studies that plan to “overthrow the US Government.” And it is us who are the cause of the financial meltdown. It has nothing to do with the billionaire bankers and their bailouts, but mythical welfare collectors who we all picture as black and Latino.
Just as with other mass murders, the media will focus on this for another 15 minutes and then it will be forgotten. Then another murderer will be spawned, and we will wonder once again why it happened.
Perhaps if Americans started looking within, and at all cultures and races, rather than focusing as Arizona does on the evilness of Ethnic Studies and bilingual education, or whether people living here peacefully for decades have the proper paperwork, then we might prevent future tragedies.
But this would require us to look beyond the illusion, the American flag or the crucifix in the house and focus more on what type of weapons your neighbor has and why. Their internet ramblings and conspiracy sites they visit may be more dangerous than a banned book by Rudy Acuña read in TUSD.
This will never happen.
In the meantime whenever white men commit mass murders it is just a freak isolated incident, but when we look at other crime statistics for minorities the reason given is that it is something innate to their culture, to their family. It is those people.
And while Arizona and others continue to focus on minorities and immigrants, the next shooter will go unnoticed, and then we will repeat this cycle once again.